How Stevenson Explores the Nature of Good and Evil in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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How Stevenson Explores the Nature of Good and Evil in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The story is about a doctor called Jekyll who has an alternate identity called Hyde. Until the last two chapters it is told from the view point of Mr Utterson; a friend of Jekyll’s who is trying to piece together the story. It uses features of gothic novels such as doppelganger which is an alternate identity. It also uses multiple narratives to make the reader think, it also helps the reader solve the case themselves, and piece the story together, from the evidence given. To a certain extent Stevenson also uses the monster feature in the form of Edward Hyde. In this novel, Stevenson was trying to show that good and evil are not
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He is described as “some damned Juggernaut” about him whereas Jekyll is described as fair. Another way they use doors is to suggest some thing hidden as in “behind closed doors”. Utterson finds that when Hyde is staying in Jekyll’s house in his place he stays in the cabinet with the doors closed to hide him self. I also feel this idea of two sides is also used to mimic what was going on in Victorian society at that time. They were pretending to live one way of life while living a different one altogether.

Many types of gothic novels especially from the Victorian era use the monsters to represent certain fears of the society.

In the time period this novel was written there were many fears of using science to try and play God. The Victorians believed you shouldn’t try and use science to change, or try and duplicate what God has created. That is why I believe that the monsters that are used in gothic novels of that time period, such as Frankenstein and this story, where creations of scientific experiments in which the scientist tried to play God, have gone awry. In Frankenstein the scientist was trying to create life, and his creation, after taking the lives of those close to him ended up destroying him. In this the scientist tried to split his good and bad side and the bad side ended up consuming the good, and again he killed innocents. I feel another purpose behind this is to say that even if we could play God
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